The cheapest way of diving in Cuba - and not unavoidably bad
Varadero is often considered to be the tourist capital of Cuba - it is said that Al Capone, the prominent mafia boss, went there for holiday. This largest Cuban tourist resort has its own airport, and is located in the long and narrow Peninsula de Hicacos on the Atlantic coast, approximately 140km north-east of Havana. The coast of the peninsula is lined with 20km of sand beaches. From the price point of view, it is the most affordable diving area in Cuba as a whole.
All diving localities (about twenty) are located north of Hicacos Peninsula, and the depth usually doesn’t exceed 30m. The only exception is the deepest flooded cave in Cuba - Giant’s eye (Ojo del Mégano) deep over 70m; diving of divers without trimix qualification is prohibited from understandable reasons. A lot of local shallow reefs are available directly from the shore; some localities are available by boat.
|Atlantic coral reefs around Varadero are mostly created by gorgonian, stony coral, brain coral, cushion coral, Christmas tree worm and plenty of sea sponge. Over the coral reefs, there are schools of snapper, grunt, grouper, surgeonfish, angelfish, drum fish and a lot of other species.|
|Other species - e.g. ray-finned fish and bigeye - successfully use safe coral hiding places to relax.|
|Although there are definitely more attractive diving areas than Varadero in Cuba, there are a lot of things to see, for instance extremely large hermit crab living in vacant shells of queen conch. |
|Hiding places in coral reefs are also used by schools of snapper and grunt.|
|One of the most interesting diving localities in Varadero is, without doubt, a wreck of the Russian guard frigate BP 385 MONCADA, built in the Russian shipyard Krasny Metalist Zavod in 1988. Ten years later, within the temporary warming period between the East and West, the ship was put out of service and sunk near Varadero.|
|It is 95m long, 12m wide, and lies in a depth of 20-30m. It is now not only a popular target for divers and memorial of the Cold War, but mainly home of many schools of fish. With kind approval of Robert Hughan (Goofy Aqua Video - www.goofyaquavideo.com), you can watch his nice video showing the wreck.|
|Varadero can also satisfy lovers of cave diving, for instance in the Cueva de Saturno Cave lying about 20km away from the coast. In a depth of about 20m, it is possible to enjoy richly decorated galleries. The cave is open to the public so your non-diving companions can swim and snorkel there.|
|Thanks to the partnership of diving bases in Varadero and Bay of Pigs, the divers accommodated in Varadero can enrich their diving experiences with the famous caves in Zátoce Sviní. Diving trips to Bay of Pigs from Varadero are usually organized once a week.|
From the price point of view, Varadero is the most affordable diving area in Cuba as a whole; this fact results in a large number of divers moving in the local Atlantic water. If we are aware of this fact, we won’t be disappointed and will be able to enjoy all the beauty Varadero offers.
The price from 700 euro includes 7 days of accommodation in a double room with full board at an all-inclusive hotel, and 10 dives in the sea (the prices are in force from 01-01-2017 until further notice).